‘Radi Allahu Ta’ala’, ‘Alaihissalam’ and ‘Rahmatullah Alaih’
By: Khurshid Imam
‘Radi Allahu Ta’ala’, ‘Alaihissalam’ and ‘Rahmatullah Alaih’ are duas and can be used for any person interchangeably. They are not reserved for any particular personalities.
A. Radi Allahu Ta’ala anhu [May Allah be pleased with him]
General understanding: It should be used “only” with sahaba ekram [Companions of The Prophet].
Fact: Quran does not put such restriction. Quran uses it for:
1. Some of companions and those who followed them - Quran 9:100.
2. Those companions who took pledge with Prophet - Quran 48:18
3. Common believers - Quran 98:7-8; 58:22; 5:119;
Just like you can do dua for someone to get paradise, to be saleh/muttaqi/successful; similarly you can do dua for someone with whom Allah is pleased.
Over past 14 century – scholars have used Radi Allahu Ta’ala for people – other than sahaba, tabeyeen and tabe tabeyeen. There is a very long list of books referring the same.
B. Alaihissalam [Peace be upon him]
General understanding: It should be used only with Prophets other than Prophet Muhammad, angels, Hazrat Maryam etc.
Fact: Hadees books like Sahih bukhari, Sunan Tirmidhi, Sunan Abu Dawood, Musnad Ahmed Bin Hambal have quoted extensively use of Alaihissalam with names of hazrat Ali, Hazrat fatima, Hazrat Hussain etc.
When you greet someone and say “Assalam u alaikum”, it means “Peace be upon you”. You do this for any person.
C. Rahmatullah Alaih [May Allah’s mercy/blessing be upon him]
General understanding: It should be used “only” with very pious people or great scholars.
Fact: It is a dua for getting rahmat or blessing of Allah so it can be used as dua for any person.
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